Mirrors and Veils: The Bergdahl Perplex
I will confess to a dark suspicion that when Robert Bergdahl, standing next to President Obama, said in Pashto to Bowe Bergdahl, "I am your father," it was some sort of coded message. I mean, what in the world was that all about? Does any father have to say such a thing to a son? Did he think Bowe didn't know who his father was?
But then I started to ask questions of people who had followed the Bergdahl saga, and they calmed me down a bit. The elder Bergdahl seems a bit odd. Look at the pictures. "A hippy," one of my best sources said. A guy who'd gone to Idaho to pursue a lifestyle reminiscent of the romantic sixties: love, peace, and the expansion of the mind. Or so they say. And it connects well with the story of Bowe, leaving his base in an "intoxicated state," which, if true, can't mean alcohol, which is forbidden in such places. It might mean pot, or hashish, however. Berkeley, California, on the plains of Afghanistan.
I think, as I always do when confronted with "breaking news," that we are some distance from the truth. We don't have the real facts just yet, and, contrary to all our frenzied desire to know everything right away, it's a good idea to take a deep breath and analyze the odors.
One good place to start is where Brad Thor does: forget about the Taliban, they weren't holding Bowe. He was a captive of the Haqqanis, which Thor nicely describes as a mixture of terrorism and mafia, "80% Sopranos and 20% Al Qaeda." He then asks an important question: what did the Haqqanis get for Bergdahl? That's exactly right, because four of the Guantanamo terrorists were indeed Taliban, and hence low priority for the Haqqanis. So?
So we need to ask how much money the Haqqanis got, or how many weapons, or maybe diamonds, I don't know. We probably arranged for the payment--it's illegal to do it directly, I believe (although CIA has done it, as has the military, usually under the guise of "providing information")--and the Qataris may have thought it was a good investment. But something of value had to be given to the Haqqanis. I don't believe they turned over Bowe as a favor to the Taliban.
It is also possible that the Iranians were involved….